Unlike Activision head Bobby Kotick, we don’t think the last five years of Spider-Man games completely sucked, and really enjoyed the last solo Spidey game, 2008’s Web of Shadows. Still, we do think the series could use a real shot in the arm, because as cool as swinging around New York is, we feel like that’s gone as far as it can for the time being. So when we got a peek at the next Spider-Man game, subtitled Shattered Dimensions (for 360, PS3, Wii and DS), we were excited to see that the Wallcrawler leaving New York was just one of the stimulating new ideas this game has in store for us.
Thanks to the Tablet of Order and Chaos being scattered to four different dimensions, four diverse Spider-Men need to work together to save the multiverse, only they seem to be working unbeknownst to one another. Though two of the four worlds remain a mystery for the time being, we do know that the Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man Noir are two fourths of the game. We’ve already dabbled in guessing what the unnamed worlds are, so let’s delve deep into what we do know.
Amazing Spider-Man: Kraven Hunt
We started with checking out the Amazing Spider-Man, which takes place in more or less the standard universe we all know and love. But even though it stars Spider-Man in the classic red and blues, it’s far from normal for Spidey, as we saw him swing through an ancient looking city that had been mostly swallowed by the forest over time. The setting was much more Nathan Drake than Peter Parker, and it looks like a nice change of pace for the guy, as we get fresh air, not Times Square. And since it isn’t a sprawling sandbox like the Big Apple, it seems to follow a more linear path for the story, which would be a welcome adjustment over some of the aimless roaming in recent Spider-games.
The Web-head swung through these ruins in chase of Kraven the Hunter, one of Spider-Man’s earliest foes who has gotten little exposure in gaming, mostly thanks to him being dead the last couple decades. But this time, Kraven, who’s a bit like an evil Tarzan, and his cadre of henchmen have set up shop in these ruins and Spidey is hunting him down.
When we saw the Amazing Spider-Man enter combat, we were happy to see that some of the great combos and in-air battles that Web of Shadows did so very well were still there. Spidey bounced between enemies, taking them down quickly and coolly. Apparently the special attribute of the Amazing one is that he uses his webs a ton, constantly using it to tie up foes, make giant web fists, and disarming guys left and right with it.
When we got to the end of the section, Kraven appeared, the boss battle began, and we were again surprised as we watched the camera occasionally shift focus to first person, as we looked through Spidey’s eyes as he put a beating on the great white hunter. It not only shook things up in the battle, but it showcased some really cool facial animations on Kraven as he took his beating. Apparently first-person moments like that won’t be limited to battles, but that’s all we saw during our time with it. Overall “standard” Spider-Man was looking exciting enough on its own.